From the Publisher
What happens when three financial industry whiz kids and certified
baseball nuts take over an ailing major league franchise and
implement the same strategies that fueled their success on Wall
Street? In the case of the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays, an American League
championship happens-the culmination of one of the greatest
turnarounds in baseball history.
In The Extra 2%, financial journalist and sportswriter
Jonah Keri chronicles the remarkable story of one team's Cinderella
journey from divisional doormat to World Series contender. When
former Goldman Sachs colleagues Stuart Sternberg and Matthew
Silverman assumed control of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2005, it
looked as if they were buying the baseball equivalent of a penny
stock. But the incoming regime came armed with a master plan: to
leverage their skill at trading, valuation, and management to build
a model twenty-first-century franchise that could compete with
their bigger, stronger, richer rivals-and prevail.
Together with "boy genius" general manager Andrew Friedman, the new
Rays owners jettisoned the old ways of doing things, substituting
their own innovative ideas about employee development, marketing
and public relations, and personnel management. They exorcized the
"devil" from the team's nickname, developed metrics that let them
take advantage of undervalued aspects of the game, like defense,
and hired a forward-thinking field manager as dedicated to
unconventional strategy as they were. By quantifying the game's
intangibles-that extra 2% that separates a winning organization
from a losing one-they were able to deliver to Tampa Bay something
that Billy Beane's "Moneyball" had never brought to Oakland: an
American League pennant.
A book about what happens when you apply your business skills to
your life's passion, The Extra 2% is an informative and
entertaining case study for any organization that wants to go from
worst to first.